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1st Birthday!

June 2017

Acanthus WSM Architects and our associated planning consultants Woodhall, have recently celebrated the first year in our new office. Swopping an 18th century manor house, complete with log fire and oak paneling from the Rothschild’s private yacht was always going to be difficult but the team, almost without exception*, appear to have taken to their new city centre pad without a backward glance. Up here on the 11th floor we have now become accustomed to the spectacular 360 degree views across the city although the appearance of the odd Apache helicopter landing at speed on the roof of the Leeds General Infirmary still provides a distraction.


*A city centre life was never going to work for Stig, our office dog. Whilst guest appearances do still occasionally occur, he prefers a more rural idyll.

Hanley Street, Birmingham

May 2017

Earlier this month a planning application was lodged with Birmingham City Council for this large mixed use development. Located in the Gun Quarter the scheme comprises 250 apartments and studios above ground floor commercial uses including, offices and gymnasium.


The proposed building is 6-8 storeys in height and arranged around a central courtyard. Drawing on the local vernacular style, a simple palette of materials has been suggested with the local red brick being dominant whilst projecting planes of masonry add depth to the façade. The fenestration provides a vertical emphasis whilst the mix of punched windows and curtain walling add further rhythm. A two storey void gives access from Summer Lane into the courtyard. Further private amenity space is provided by a roof top garden and glazed pavilion. With an estimated construction cost of £35m the scheme will provide much needed, high quality, private rented accommodation in this part of the city.  

The Acanthus Conference 2017 Brighton and Charity Cycle Race

April 2017

The 2017 Acanthus Conference rolls into Brighton this summer for an intensive weekend of architectural study (and wine tasting) with almost 100 delegates attending from all eight offices. To mark the occasion there is going to be a charity cycle race from London to Brighton. Each practice is fielding at least one rider with the race set to follow the traditional route, starting on Clapham Common before finishing 54 miles later at the sea front on Marine Drive. Entrants can then spend the weekend recovering whilst attending lectures, workshops and building visits. Who says Architects don’t know how to have fun?


Darren Parr and Joe Keighley are representing Acanthus WSM, raising money for our chosen charity, Shelter. Competition between the respective practices appears somewhat erratic with the senior entrants spending more time researching venues for lunch rather than serious training. With clear instructions for a first and second podium spot there is no pressure on the Leeds team!

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